Time travel on Portland’s eastside: A tantalizing glimpse of 1905

We’ve come across a digitized collection of photos from 1905—thanks to the Oregon Historical Society (OHS)—that offers a tantalizing glimpse of homes and street scenes on Portland’s eastside, including one we’ve been able to identify and a bunch of others we’re still working on.

The collection which resides at OHS includes 88 individual glass plate negatives taken by an unknown photographer that were left behind in a Northeast Portland boarding house.

Many of the photos depict the Woodlawn neighborhood. The one we sleuthed out is a tidy one-story hip-roofed bungalow not far from Woodlawn School that looks a lot today like it did back in 1905. See for yourself:

Glass negatives of early Portland residential scenes, Org. Lot 1417, Oregon Historical Society Research Library, image 039. Used courtesy of the Oregon Historical Society. The original address of the home was 1503 East 11th Avenue North.

The same house today in the 7200 block of NE 11th Avenue. Google Streetview image.

This particular photo was not too difficult to identify because the home’s pre-address-change address is visible on the front porch column. With a little detective work we were able to identify this as a home in the 7000 block of NE 11th Avenue.

We’re confident there are other distinguishing details in these photos that will be tantalizing to many of us photo detectives. But even if you just enjoy a little time travel, it’s so interesting to have a close up look at these houses as brand-new buildings, to see the family moments and groups, the dirt streets and background views.

Read more about the collection and take a good look through the images via Ilana Sol’s blog post on the Oregon Historical Society website, and then take a good look through the images. And let us know if you identify any of the places!

8 responses

  1. Hello. These are great! I have to admit, i didn’t look super close but some of the early ones appear to be north side of ainsworth, below 15th. There’s another that I believe is NE 7th, just north of Ainsworth.

    Thanks for your time on this!
    Kendal

    Sent from my iPhone

      • To find this one, I looked at the surroundings and guessed that this was overlooking Swan Island. I used satellite view in google maps to look at roof lines along Willamette Blvd. and then street view to confirm.

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